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Watson's Second Special Kick Clinic Deemed a Success!

Click here to visit our photographer Matt Mead's blog for his description of the day.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds took to the field on Sunday, April 27th to share their soccer talents with children and young adults with special needs as they hosted the Watson Institute’s 2nd Special Kick Clinic at Highmark Stadium in Station Square.  Approximately 140 participants with special needs and their siblings participated in the event, along with 100 volunteers who aided them by adapting the drills so they could engage and play to the best of their abilities.

In addition to the Riverhounds pro team, members of The Riverhounds Academy youth development program, Deloitte Pittsburgh employees and other volunteers helped everyone enjoy this unique experience.    

The continued commitment and dedication for the 2nd year from Named Sponsor KEYTEX Energy along with other sponsors Clockwise Tees, Clayton Kendall Promotional Marketing, Shearers, and Pepsi was essential to bring this amazing event to even more individuals throughout the region.

“We are a proud supporter of The Watson Institute and excited to be involved, along with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, in bringing a fun day of soccer to many children and young adults with special needs, as well as their siblings.  We look forward to continuing our support for The Watson Institute in the important role they serve in our community” said Greg Cammerata, President of KEYTEX Energy.

The afternoon began with a short exhibition by the Riverhounds, followed by soccer-specific stations led by the Riverhounds pro team.  Drills were carefully adapted to the needs of each excited player.

“Today was a gorgeous day to share this “beautiful game” with all the beautiful participants.  Seeing our players interact and help them score goals, complete a hole in soccer golf, or make a strike in soccer bowling was truly amazing.  Those smiles and moments will last a lifetime, especially since we are all big kids at heart” said John Rotz, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

“Thank you for providing an excellent event at Highmark Stadium” said Darryl Degelman, coach of the Olympic Flames, a Special Olympics soccer team.  “Five of our Special Olympics soccer athletes attended the clinic and had a great time.  The Riverhounds were personable and informative.  Two other coaches and I also enjoyed the activities.  Please let us know how we can help support future programs.”

Following the success of this year’s clinic, both the Riverhounds and The Watson Institute are eager to pass along the initiative to other professional soccer teams across the US in hopes to expand this clinic model throughout the country.  “Our goal today was to create an experience where individuals with special needs could participate in the game of soccer to the best of their ability,” said Ray White, CEO of The Watson Institute.  “Being able to do that with a professional soccer team at a beautiful stadium on a beautiful day was an added bonus.  We are grateful to the Riverhounds organization, KEYTEX Energy and our other sponsors for partnering with us in this endeavor.  We have demonstrated here today what a wonderful experience it can be, and we encourage other professional soccer teams to conduct similar clinics in their cities as well.”

For more info on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, visit www.riverhounds.com.  And for more information on how KEYTEX Energy can help your business reduce energy costs visit their website at www.keytexenergy.com.